SA Airlink and Safair are seeking to merge and will on Tuesday apply to South Africa’s Competition Commission for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.
In a joint statement issued on 27 November, the two companies said Airlink and low-cost FlySafair airlines and Safair’s other businesses, including humanitarian aid flights, would continue to operate separately under their unique brands.
“The airlines will retain their respective products, aircraft fleets, management and leadership teams. Employees will be secure with no job losses because of the consolidation,” the statement said.
“Airlink’s acquisition of Safair, which is financially robust and profitable, makes good business sense. It presents opportunities to reduce our combined costs, position ourselves for growth while at the same time increasing connectivity and choice while making air travel accessible and affordable for our customers across Southern Africa,” explained Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.
“Our combined networks will enable us to connect 37 destinations in nine Southern African &Indian Ocean countries and St. Helena. This will stimulate and enable trade, tourism, economic growth and social development in those markets we serve,” added Foster
“Coming under a single umbrella will create economies of scale that will enable both airlines to share costs, optimise assets and remove systems duplications. This will position the new Airlink Group for future growth,” said Elmar Conradie, who will remain as Safair CEO.
The Safair purchase will not affect Airlink’s existing SAA franchise partnership.
As part of its continued commitment to the aviation industry within South Africa, Safair shareholder ASL Aviation Holdings would become a minority shareholder of the Airlink Group of companies.
More details will be provided when the Competition Commission has made its determination, which is expected during the first quarter of 2018.